Cautiously pessimistic

I’ve probably been the pessimist of our blog when it comes to the 2006 elections. A while back, I predicted that the Republicans would lose five Senate seats and that the Dems would gain a majority in the House.

Today, I consider it more likely that the net Republican loss in the Senate will be three seats. I still believe the Republicans, more likely than not, will lose the House, but I think that proposition now is almost a toss-up. The published polls don’t show much of a change in public sentiment regarding House races, but with polls showing that Republican Senate prospects have improved on balance, and with the president’s approval rating apparently edging up, I’d be surprised if things haven’t also improved for the party when it comes to the House.

If so, what’s the explanation? In part, it may be that voters are slightly more focused on the fact that (a) we have not been successfully attacked since 9/11 and (b) the economy has been humming along reasonably well. But I’m guessing that the drop in prices at the gas pump is the main factor.

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